Psychological strategies to enhance motivation and manage anxiety

Involves developing skills and performance or the
environment in which the athlete peforms in their
mind. The visual image can help the performer focus
on the movements required to produce an optimal
performance, increase concentration and confidence.
Mental imagery can enhance both competition
performance, and the skills required for the athletes
activity. It involves the mental repetition of a
movement or sequence that will increase the minds
understanding of the certain motion. Mental imagery
relies solely on the power of the mind as there is no
physical movement. It also involves reliving the
execution of a skill or performance.
A major factor of mental imagery is to replicate
the feelings of anxiety that the individual will
experience during performance allowing the
athlete to visualize success. Mental rehearsal
also allows the brain to work out problems and
propose alternative solutions and decisions. It
works by improving the neural connections
between the brain and the muscles to create
the movement.
 Many often under estimate the need for relaxation
techniques in sport and how much it can benefit and
athletes performance
 Relaxation Techniques may assist the athlete in
control of arousal
 Without the use of relaxation Techniques an athlete
may be unable to reproduce what they have been
learning in training in competition
1) Progressive Muscular Relaxation- involves relaxing muscle
groups using special exercises
2) Mental Relaxation- Which involves relaxing the body through
controlled breathing, relaxing the mind and gaining a ‘floating’
3) Self hypnosis- which involves using the power of suggestion to
have the mind accept a particular level of anxiety in a specific
4) Mental rehearsal- which involves concentrating on rehearsing
the performance of the task rather than how you feel about it
5) Meditation- which involves narrowing ones thoughts using
simple repetitive image and sounds
6) Centred breathing- which involves controlling breathing to
release tension before performance
 It is important that each athlete finds
the relaxation technique that suits them
personally. Some may respond best to
physical techniques while others will
benefit from techniques with a mental
 The Establishment of goals is important to improve both individual and team
preparation. By empowering athletes with the responsibility to set their own goals
they are more likely to seriously attempt to fulfill them.
 Goals Can be categorized into 4 Ways:
 Short-term Goals; These are goals that can be achieved in a limited
period of time; For example ‘I will complete three endurance sessions this week.’’
 Long Term Goals: These goals can be achieved only over a long
period of time; For example to complete a marathon
 Behavioral Goals: These goals relate to improved behavioral
expectations in training, competition or both. For example an athlete may aim to
be more punctual to training.
 Performance Goals: These goals relate to an athletes desired level
of success. E.g. a state, national or even Olympic Medal. Ideally these should
be wrote down and put somewhere they can be seen everyday
 Situations Arising from personal circumstances and possibly injury may
interfere with the timeframe over which an achievement of a goal or goals is
sought. In this case, discussion and renegotiation is a preferable solution
rather than reinforcing feelings of failure and disappointment
Sports Psychology Video 2012 Olympics
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